Hello December

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Hello ANB Fans!

Thank you all for your support. Those here from the beginning of The Blind Lily, to those just now entering the journey of Women’s Island.
May you all have a splendid holiday season!

~ AshleyNicole

———-
Image Source:
http://m.weheartit.com/entry/44874017

The Dreamcatch Writer

the artistic persuasion

Before: The Artistic Persuasion

Last month I posted about a possible name change for my blog, originally “The Artistic Persuasion.”  After thinking about it I decided to change it… and so, I welcome you to my new and improved blog: The Dreamcatch Writer.  Why did I chose this name?  Because I am a self-proclaimed dreamcatch writer.  Below is my definition of of dreamcatch writing.

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Dreamcatch writing is what I consider my type of writing to be.  Most of my stories come from my dreams or nightmares.  When I wake up I write down everything I can remember.  Usually I come up with a new story idea right away or think of something to add to a story already in progress.  If I don’t come up with an idea then I save it for later.  So essentially, I catch my dreams in my writing.  I’m sure many writers come up with ideas from dreams they’ve had, but I’ve never heard the term dreamcatch writer before.  Maybe I am the first official Dreamcatch Writer 😉 Or, at least the first to consider myself as one.

I hope you all enjoy the new look of my author site and blog.  Feel free to explore.  There will be more coming soon to my website after the publication of Women’s Island, so be sure to stop by for updates.

Pages to Check Out

Writer’s Cafe – Stop by my “Writer’s Cafe” under the “About” menu tab where you can find out more about me, my projects, and other writing related doodads and whatnots.

Novels – Want to find out where to get my free books and my upcoming publications?  Then be sure to come to my “Novels” page.

Contact – Have a question?  Are you an aspiring author looking for advice?  Want to provide services?  Come to my contact page for email information or fill out the easy to follow form.

Street Team – Interested in joining my Book Rebel Crew?  Visit the Street Team page for information on what a street team is and how to join.

QR Codes

ToF promo previewWorking with the Indies and Action (IIA) group I learned about QR Codes and how to add them to your promotional materials.  QR codes were square bar codes to me.  I thought if you scanned them with your phone it was an instant purchase and didn’t really see the value in them.  For the Twist of Fate anthology I created the designs for the bookmarks, post cards, and business cards.  By request I added QR codes to both the Paperback and the Kindle edition of the book.  Maria Edwards, a fellow IIA member, helped me by creating the QR codes and I simply added them to the designs.  Working with them caught my curiosity. Naturally I decided to research them.

QR codes were originally used in the automotive industry to quickly access tracking information during the manufacturing process.  Now they have become popular in the advertising world. Typically, a consumer downloads a QR-code scanner app onto their smartphone.  Using the camera on the back of the phone, the code is converted into a useful form such as a URL for a website, a coupon to get a free download, or even contact information.  This conversion dismisses the need for a user to type a URL manually into a web browser, cutting out a coupon from the paper, or copying contact information into their address book.  Information from Wikipedia *

After researching the QR codes I decided to download a QR scanning app on my phone and try it out on the QR codes I put onto the Twist of Fate promo designs.  It took only two seconds to scan and take me straight to the page where I can buy a copy.  That had me sold.  I knew I wanted to figure out how to make QR codes for my brand.  So, I got back to researching and found a generator that makes the QR codes for you for free.  I used KAYWA QR Code to make a code for my author website, my amazon author profile, and to download my free book The Blind Lily.  It was simple, quick, and painless.  Now to decide where to use them…

For a while now I’ve been wanting to make some business cards.  This seemed like the perfect place for me to use my QR codes.  I decided to use my amazon author profile and my Free download QR codes since the front of my business card has my website on it and there just isn’t enough room for three codes on my business card.  Here is what I came up with:

AshleyNicole's business card preview

I can’t wait to get them in the mail from Overnight Prints 🙂  Recently I took my sister’s dog to the vet and while she was back with the doctor I talked to the lady at the front desk.  Topics ranged from being a mom, to children’s names we liked and why, to eventually character’s names, and of course that lead to the topic of my writing.  She seemed very intrigued and asked me about my books and where she could find them.  Right then, I really wish I’d had a business card to give her.  She was so sweet and I really enjoyed our chat.  I ended up writing my website down on a piece of paper for her.

Two weeks prior to the vet’s office I ran across a post by The Musings of a New Englander about Author: Business Cards.   I told Sharon “I was planning on ordering some author business cards today. This [blog post] has made me realize how valuable they will be. Thank you. Now I just have to make a design. No idea what I want them to look like. *laughs* I better get started.”  Needless to say I did not order them that day.  The design took me longer than it should have.  I just couldn’t decide how I wanted it to look and I wasn’t sure if I really should have my picture on it.  After seeing how many authors have their photos on their business cards I decided, why not, and went for it.

People always seem to be asking me for information on my website or books when I tell them I’m a writer.  Then we dig around looking for a piece of paper and a pen so I can give them some info.  Now, I’ll finally just be able to hand them a business card.  It will be so much easier.  For some great examples of QR codes on business cards I recommend stopping by 708 Media‘s blog post 22 Great Examples of QR Code Business Cards.

 

What is your experience with QR codes?  Have any cool designs to share or ideas on how to utilize your QR codes?  Please share in the comments 🙂

 

 

Sources Links:

http://www.708media.com/qrcode/21-great-examples-of-qr-code-business-cards/

http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code

http://overnightprints.com

http://newenglandmuse.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/author-business-cards/

Book Blast: A Pirate’s Tale

Book Blast Announcement!
A Pirate’s Tale
by Stacey Rourke

pirate banner Who needs a little more Rowan?
Stacey Rourke presents a Gryphon series novella
The call of the sea.
The promise of adventure.
For Rowan Wade, the need to return to his swashbuckling ways is enough to betray the only woman he’s cared for in over three hundred years.
With vengeance in his heart, he’s determined to exact his revenge on those that mutinied against his father.
The arrival of an unlikely ally challenges Rowan’s plans. Her goal isn’t to stop him, but to lead him on a journey of self-discovery to unravel the mysteries of the twisted path that led him to the Dark Army.
Will it be enough to make the pirate shift course? Or will he be lost forever in a rum-induced haze? Hoist ye colors and prepare to set sail with the Gryphon Series’ favorite pirate!
Get your copy of A Pirate’s Tale at Amazon 
Chat with Stacey Rourke
Friday, July 19 at 2 pm

Twitter #PiratesTale

a Rafflecopter giveaway —  A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of prize.

The Artistic Persuasion & AshleyNicole Books received no compensation for this post.

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About the Author, Stacey Rourke

YOUNG ADULT AND TEEN READER VOTED AUTHOR OF THE YEAR 2012.

Stacey

Stacey Rourke lives in Michigan with her husband and two beautiful daughters that she knows are nothing short of a blessing from Heaven. She took a break from working on her young adult fantasy Gryphon Series to share her story of infertility with the world. To learn more about her or her other available titles please visit: http://www.staceyrourke.com

Social Media Links

www.staceyrourke.com
Facebook Page
Twitter @Rourkewrites

Blogspot

Book Trailer

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway dates: July 19 – August 4

Disclaimer: A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of prize.
The Artistic Persuasion & AshleyNicole Books received no compensation for this post.

________________________________________________________

Other Books by Stacey Rourke

Sacrifice
Book Three of the Gryphon Series
by Stacey Rourke

Book Cover

Celeste Garrett has finally found a happy balance in her life as the Chosen One, thanks in large part to a certain hunky Irishman. But if there is any lesson she should heed since receiving her calling itís that everything can change in the blink of an eye. Soon a terrible new threat, unlike anything sheís ever encountered, causes her to make a gut-wrenching choice that will strip her of someone she holds dear.
As much as she’d like to have a pity party for one, there is no time for that now because wedding bells are ringing in Gainesboro! In between dress fittings and rehearsal dinners Celeste will have to fend off attacking demons and leering pirates. As if the Dark Army wasn’t scary enough our heroine is faced with the horrifying trauma of attending a bachelorette party with her mom and watching Grams do Jello shots. Is a walk down the aisle even possible for a member of the Garrett family when the Dark Army is out to destroy them? More importantly, will the Dark Army Glee Club sing at the reception?
Raise your glass to the happy couple, and get ready for a wedding Conduit-style!

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes and Nobel | Smashwords

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The Conduit
Book One in the Gryphon Series
By Stacey Rourke

The Conduit

All 18-year-old Celeste Garrett wants is to head off to college and make those fun, yet ill-advised, choices college kids are known for.  And maybe to spend some time with the hot cameraman she just met.  Instead, because of a pact her ancestors made in the 17th century with a mythical creature, she has to save the world.
While normal kids are slamming energy drinks and cramming for exams, Celeste will get her adrenaline rush fighting a fire breathing dragon.  She wants to meet friends in the quad to exchange lecture notes, but first she must exchange blows with a shapeshifting demon on the rooftop.  Life isn’t always fair for a superhero, but at least she doesn’t have to do it alone.  With her brother and sister as sidekicks, they alternate between saving lives and getting on each others’ nerves.  Together the trio encounters unspeakable odds, mystical forces and comes face-to-face with an image that will haunt them forever—their grandmother in a leopard print bikini.

Excerpt:

“Okay, little side note here. If a psychopathic killer asks if you want to see a trick, say no. That’s the smart thing to do. I, on the other hand, responded, ‘Bring it’.”

Embrace
Book Two in the Gryphon Series
By Stacey Rourke

EmbraceWhether she likes it or not, eighteen year old Celeste Garrett has come to terms  with being  the Chosen One. She knew having a “normal life” would be tricky,  between intense training  sessions and epic demonic battles, but she didn’t know  at what cost it would come. That is,  until a dear friend is harmed by the  malicious forces hunting her.
Now, she’d like nothing more than to retreat into a hermit lifestyle to prevent anyone else from getting hurt. But startling revelations, amazing new abilities, and mortifying moments in front of insanely hot guys won’t allow time for that. Soon, Celeste finds herself surrounded by darkness and wondering who she can trust—if anyone.

Excerpt: (I chose this excerpt because I can just imagine hearing Celeste say it to herself and it so incredibly awesome.  Makes humiliating yourself in front of a guy not seem so bad in comparison.)

With narrowed eyes, he peered past me to the counter.  ”Ya sure it’s broken?  Sounds like it’s on now.”
I turned my head in the direction of the counter.  He was right, something was whirring.  I could hear it, too.  But it wasn’t coming from the counter, or the DOA cappuccino machine.   It was closer than that.  Close enough that I could feel the vibration in my chest. 
Oh, sweet-mother-of-all-that’s-good-and-pure, IT’S ME!! I’m purring!

The Sidekick Chronicles
A Gryphon Series Novella
by Stacey Rourke

Gryphon seriesCeleste isn’t the only member of the Garrett family whose life changed when destiny called. Every sidekick has their tale and in this Gryphon Series short the spotlight is turned on Kendall, Grams and even Gabe. Get an inside look at the hilarious stress that goes along with being a…sidekick.

Sidekicks…ya can’t live with ‘em and you’d probably die horribly without ‘em.

Purchase Links

       Amazon                                       Barnes and Noble

The Conduit                                         The Conduit

Embrace                                               Embrace

Sidekick Chronicles                           Sidekick Chronicles

Independence Day

Hello Everyone,
How are you on this beautiful morning/evening?
It’s Independence Day here in the United States. Our Congress established the federal holiday in 1776 for US citizens to celebrate our country’s independence.
Because I am a writer I thought I’d share some info on a couple famous writers remembered on this day.

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Francis Scott Key wrote a poem called “Defense of Fort McHenry” written in 1814. It is these words that became the lyrics to our national anthem the “Star Spangled Banner”

O! say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there –
O! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream –
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havock of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul foot-steps’ pollution,
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home, and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – ‘In God is our trust! ‘
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Paul Revere was the American patriot who rode through the town acting as an alarm warning of the British’s arrival by shouting “The British are coming! The British are coming!” This act was immortalized in a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow known as “Paul Revere’s Ride”

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,–
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

What writers do you know of who’s writings should be recognized today?
Happy Independence Day!

———-
“We the People” Image source

Twist of Fate – A Charity Anthology

Twist of Fate
A Charity Anthology
Coming Soon

In May of 2013 storms and tornadoes ripped through the midwestern United States leaving destruction and desolation in many areas. One of the hardest hit states was Oklahoma. “Twist of Fate” is an anthology of writing, poetry, prose, and artwork from contributors around the world, better known as the group: Indies In Action.  100 % of the proceeds from the sale of the book “Twist of Fate” will go to benefit tornado victims in Oklahoma through the May Tornadoes Fund, administered by the United Way.  You can learn more about the May Tornadoes Fund at the United Way of Central Oklahoma Website.

ToF coming soon

cover reveal coming soon!

Follow the Indies In Action Website

Like Twist of Fate on Facebook

The Indies In Action (IIA) group has been hard at work to create a beautiful collection of prose and poetry dedicated to the victims of the tornadoes which devastated Oklahoma in recent weeks. This touching collection is punctuated by well-known authors and poets from all over the globe, stirring photography, and a brilliant cover by the talented graphic designer Maria Edwards.
IIA
We know that the families who have suffered so much rely on the care of others to help them through their vulnerable times, and our efforts are going to be well-received. Please take the time to ‘Follow’ the Indies in Action website and ‘Like’ the Facebook Page for Twist of Fate to get updates on the book release (links above). These small gestures go a long way toward encouraging those who have spent long hours crafting this work of love.
Thank you for your support!

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Teaser Sample from the Anthology

A Poem

By Marshall G. Kent Sr.

Copyright 11/19/2012

I drove all night chasing a twinkling star,

High and low, fast and slow; still it sits running afar.

Slowed and bloated, if not svelte;

It seems as if I’ve often felt,

I’ve been a bit struck by Orion’s belt.

I see my query blurry in a dash,

But alas my vision is through a glass,

In which the twinkling shall never pass.

My thoughts thus run into a jar,

Inside lightning bugs dance on a bar.

In the pitch fabric of darkest night,

I focus my might on a flittering sight;

Once of darkness, now light passes this way,

Is that a needle stuck in the hay?

Opulent orb calling wolves to play,

Or bay,

Nay stay;

Still the deafening roar of utter silence,

Wherefore these thoughts and whereto whence;

In the black a white picket fence.

The sky bruised by a nightwing in flight,

‘Tis just the entry into this plight.

‘Twas without warning came the scream,

Fabric blurred then split at its seam:

Like the birthing of phantasmic delight,

Buttery bleeding of crimson insight.

I reach forth into the heavenly abyss,

to steal of my soul a kiss-

-I miss.

But there stand I

embrassing the specters with my heartbeat,

Glaring, I bid them (for a story) take their seat.

Once many times and shortly long ago, on and on stopping there I go;

Bestowing stealing knowledge I will never know, but heave it so,

Or to and fro–nevertheless, always it will be in tow, as sweet bitter winds blow.

A swaying ribbon or no, of the fabric pull a thread,

An orgasmic explosion within my head.

The sky is cheese and earthen bread,

I, the meat ground in my stead.

And I awaken asleep underneath on top of my bed.

____________________________________________________________

My Part in the Project

When I heard about the Twist of Fate project from Stephen I knew I wanted to help out in anyway I could.  With life in general plus my focus on Women’s Island, I wasn’t able to submit a short story.  I did however get the chance to contribute photographs to the group and am overjoyed at least one of them will be in the publication.  The mini-photoshoots I did were fun and knowing they were intended for a good cause made the time spent worth it.  Indies In Action has brought me into a new circle of writers & artists who share my passion and giving nature to help others.  I’m so glad I was able to participate in such a project and look forward to working with the IIA writers & artists in the future.

____________________________________________________________

Blogs to Check Out for info on the up and coming anthology “Twist of Fate”

1. Sheenah Freitas                                                     2. The Book Rack
3. Author Crystal Schall – What I’m Up To                 4. hülya yılmaz
5. Stephen Wilson                                                      6. Kiriti Sengupta
7. Dasgupta Ranadeb                                                8. Guy Anthony De Marco
9. Noah Smock                                                          10. Simone Beaudelaire
11. The Artistic Persuasion                                         12. Linda Bonney Olin
13. Lowlights for lowlifes                                            14. Cathrina Constantine
15. Donna J. Sanders                                                16. Vallory Vance
17. Ramblings of a Mad Southern Woman                18. story of my life
19. Random Thoughts                                                20. mtmc2
21. Monkey Vines                                                       22. Post Poetry MFA

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More Charity Anthologies by Indies In Action

Angel’s Cried
Help the victims and families in Newtown

Angels Cried

On 12/14/12, tragedy struck. Authors and artists combined, so that their expressions of emotion could be put to good use. Contributors from around the world came together and shared their souls for charity. The effort has resulted in the creation of the anthology “Angels Cried.” This inspiring collection is a wonderful way to make a difference for those who truly need it the most. The proceeds from this eBook go to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, managed by the United Way. The 40 authors and artists who contributed to this anthology represent caring people from all over the world. There is information about many of the contributors at the back of the anthology, so you can learn about the people who cared enough to create this collection.
Thank you for sharing hope.

Paperback version now available at
Createspace and Amazon
U.S. orders, please use Createspace. They don’t charge as much to publish. Thank you!

eBook copies available for $5.99
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

Visit and like the “Angels Cried” Facebook page.

Please take the time to provide a short review at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords. Thank you for your support!

Sacrifice Blog Tour

Welcome to the final stop on the Virtual Launch of “Sacrifice” by Stacey Rourke brought to you by GWR Publicity.

Tour Banner

Get the Rafflecopter code: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NzRiYmVmOTVmMjk2ZGRjMDljNDNlYTAyYTAzYjMxOjI2/

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Sacrifice
Book Three of the Gryphon Series
by Stacey Rourke

Book Cover

 

Summary

Celeste Garrett has finally found a happy balance in her life as the Chosen One, thanks in large part to a certain hunky Irishman. But if there is any lesson she should heed since receiving her calling itís that everything can change in the blink of an eye. Soon a terrible new threat, unlike anything sheís ever encountered, causes her to make a gut-wrenching choice that will strip her of someone she holds dear.

As much as she’d like to have a pity party for one, there is no time for that now because wedding bells are ringing in Gainesboro! In between dress fittings and rehearsal dinners Celeste will have to fend off attacking demons and leering pirates. As if the Dark Army wasn’t scary enough our heroine is faced with the horrifying trauma of attending a bachelorette party with her mom and watching Grams do Jello shots. Is a walk down the aisle even possible for a member of the Garrett family when the Dark Army is out to destroy them? More importantly, will the Dark Army Glee Club sing at the reception?

Raise your glass to the happy couple, and get ready for a wedding Conduit-style!

________________________________________________________

My Review

Love, Loss, Mystery, Humor,
Kick-Butt Action, Mythological Power,
This book has it all!

Review: 5 of 5 Stars!

Sacrifice is the third book in the Gryphon Series by Stacey Rourke.  After reading downloading my copy of Sacrifice it didn’t take me long to finish reading it.  I had to feed my starving mind with the words after waiting so long since Embrace.  Let me first say, Stacey knows how to satisfy her readers…and making them beg for more.

This story is full of emotional pain in different forms for the conduit and her team.  The experiences are heart wrenching. The characters have grown since the last book both with their skills and their survival while grieving, which is necessary in their line of life.  After the cliffhanger of book two, the reader doesn’t know what Celeste is so scared of.  I must say, it wasn’t what I was expecting, but let me tell you, it definitely makes the story awesome.

Something I love about Stacey’s books is how she tells the love stories.  She writes of kissing, holding hands, blushing, charming talk, having a shoulder to cry on, and doesn’t get into the “details” of their personal experiences… those are my favorite romances to read about. There are times I just want to hit some sense into Rowan’s head, and other times I want to kiss him.  The love triangle is definitely a good one and I can see it going either way.

Stacey really knows how to write a mystery into her stories and have all the pieces fall into place at the end.  With each book in the series it just keeps getting better and better.  The twists are unexpected and placed in just the right places, not fully clicking together until the end is near.  On top of that, the puzzle gets bigger as more questions arise.  Continuing from the first two books, the plot flows fluently, with no holes, and a direct path that doesn’t leave the reader lost trying to grasp what is happening.  In this book however, there is a mystery at the end you may or may not realize.  I certainly did and had a fictional heart attack in worry over what might take place in book four.

Sacrifice has a cliffhanger thrice as shocking as Embrace and The Conduit.  At the last words I mentally screamed “NO!!!!!” I really hope I get the chance to read book four soon because I NEED to KNOW!  Another Phenomenal job Stacey! 5 gold stars!

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes and Nobel | Smashwords

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Character Feature: Alaina

alainabackground

She first appeared to the Garrett kids as a beautiful winged vixen sent to lead them toward their callings as their Spirit Guide. Alaina was to remain aloof, to guide but not get involved. That all changed when she met Gabe, the oldest Garrett. For him she would risk what the Council that governs her proclaims is forbiddenóa relationship with a mortal. For their love she will be ridiculed and cast from the only home she has known for centuries. Now her mortality is restored and she must find a way to blend in to this frightening new world.

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About the Author, Stacey Rourke

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012.

Stacey

Stacey Rourke is the author of the Gryphon Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, drooly dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this series as well as other literary projects.

Social Media Links

www.staceyrourke.com
Facebook Page
Twitter @Rourkewrites

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Other Books by Stacey Rourke

The Conduit
Book One in the Gryphon Series
By Stacey Rourke

The Conduit

All 18-year-old Celeste Garrett wants is to head off to college and make those fun, yet ill-advised, choices college kids are known for.  And maybe to spend some time with the hot cameraman she just met.  Instead, because of a pact her ancestors made in the 17th century with a mythical creature, she has to save the world.
While normal kids are slamming energy drinks and cramming for exams, Celeste will get her adrenaline rush fighting a fire breathing dragon.  She wants to meet friends in the quad to exchange lecture notes, but first she must exchange blows with a shapeshifting demon on the rooftop.  Life isn’t always fair for a superhero, but at least she doesn’t have to do it alone.  With her brother and sister as sidekicks, they alternate between saving lives and getting on each others’ nerves.  Together the trio encounters unspeakable odds, mystical forces and comes face-to-face with an image that will haunt them forever—their grandmother in a leopard print bikini.

Excerpt:

“Okay, little side note here. If a psychopathic killer asks if you want to see a trick, say no. That’s the smart thing to do. I, on the other hand, responded, ‘Bring it’.”

Embrace
Book Two in the Gryphon Series
By Stacey Rourke

EmbraceWhether she likes it or not, eighteen year old Celeste Garrett has come to terms  with being  the Chosen One. She knew having a “normal life” would be tricky,  between intense training  sessions and epic demonic battles, but she didn’t know  at what cost it would come. That is,  until a dear friend is harmed by the  malicious forces hunting her.
Now, she’d like nothing more than to retreat into a hermit lifestyle to prevent anyone else from getting hurt. But startling revelations, amazing new abilities, and mortifying moments in front of insanely hot guys won’t allow time for that. Soon, Celeste finds herself surrounded by darkness and wondering who she can trust—if anyone.

Excerpt: (I chose this excerpt because I can just imagine hearing Celeste say it to herself and it so incredibly awesome.  Makes humiliating yourself in front of a guy not seem so bad in comparison.)

With narrowed eyes, he peered past me to the counter.  ”Ya sure it’s broken?  Sounds like it’s on now.”
I turned my head in the direction of the counter.  He was right, something was whirring.  I could hear it, too.  But it wasn’t coming from the counter, or the DOA cappuccino machine.   It was closer than that.  Close enough that I could feel the vibration in my chest. 
Oh, sweet-mother-of-all-that’s-good-and-pure, IT’S ME!! I’m purring!

The Sidekick Chronicles
A Gryphon Series Novella
by Stacey Rourke

Gryphon seriesCeleste isn’t the only member of the Garrett family whose life changed when destiny called. Every sidekick has their tale and in this Gryphon Series short the spotlight is turned on Kendall, Grams and even Gabe. Get an inside look at the hilarious stress that goes along with being a…sidekick.

Sidekicks…ya can’t live with ‘em and you’d probably die horribly without ‘em.

Purchase Links

       Amazon                                       Barnes and Nobel     

The Conduit                                         The Conduit

Embrace                                               Embrace

Sidekick Chronicles                           Sidekick Chronicles

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Blast Info

Buy the books for 99 cents each!
Be sure to follow the full tour for reviews, interviews, excerpts, and the inside scoop on Stacey Rourke and the Gryphon series. To celebrate the third book in the Gryphon series, Stacey Rourke is offering one lucky fan an awesome prize pack. Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A GWR Publicity promotional tour paid for by the
author. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee
is earned when purchases are made via the above links. Rose Petals background is a public domain image courtesy of Виталий Смолыгин.

Fighting Back – Women’s Island Teaser

In honor of reaching 700 likes on the AshleyNicole Books Facebook page I am sharing a teaser from Women’s Island that I hope you will enjoy 🙂

Fighting Back

teaser from upcoming novel women’s island

andrew banner

Hunched over the desk sits a man fighting a war inside, trying not to lose himself and remember what side he is really on.  His hands clench the disheveled hair atop his head, inflicting a slight of pain so he knows how to separate what is a nightmare, and what is real.  Digging his elbows into the top of his desk, Senator Andrew Chamberlain raises his head, not bothering to fix his hair at the sound of someone knocking on the door, “Enter.”

Officer Fremont comes in and quickly closes the door behind him, “We have received news of your wife.”

Andrew’s voice comes out level and monotone, “Only of my wife?”

Fremont drops his head, “It may not be her, just a woman claiming to be.”

Clenching his fists, “Where?”

“She’s in Kentucky.  No one knows which direction she came from, only that there were a lot of explosions one week before they found her.  The explosions were all near labs in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  Something triggered a chemical reaction within the water pipes.”

“How were only the labs affected?  What does that have to do with my wife?”

Fremont shrugs his shoulders, “The labs that were affected ran off of their own nuclear power plants and somehow, that small difference in the water, maybe the radiation, triggered the explosive reaction.  The one lab in Kentucky managed to only have minimal damage but the others will be out of commission for a while.”  Fremont sits in a chair across from Andrew, “As for your wife, if it is her, she admitted to blowing up the facilities and demanded to see you.”

“And what would you advise?” Andrew asks, wondering why his wife would blow up labs, and where his children could possibly be.

“I would advise, you go see this woman.  And if she is your wife, find out if your children are safe.  Keep in mind; they have her at a lab.  And if you don’t want anything bed to happen, you need to get there quickly.”

Andrew jumps out of his chair, realizing what Fremont is insinuating.  “We need to go.  We need to go right now.”

“Slow down Senator.”  Fremont pulls back on Andrew’s shoulder making him realize he had been racing for the door.  “They are already getting a jet ready.  We will be there soon enough.  I promise.”

“I never thought I’d admit it, but I think I’m going to need you around for this,” Andrew says looking at the firm hand holding him in place.

Fremont suppresses a laugh, knowing Andrew is being serious, “Don’t worry.  I’ll help you keep your sanity and remind you what side you’re on.  We will protect her and your children.  There is a lot you’re going to accomplish in this war, and I’m going to be there to help you do it.”  Fremont drops his hand to his side as Andrew turns around.

“I thought you knew which side I was really on.”

Fremont laughs, “Don’t start doubting me now Andrew.  Don’t you see what it would mean, what you could do?”

“No Fremont, I don’t.  What wonderful bout of destruction do you imaging I could unleash as the leader of such a war?”  Andrew forces himself to pace the room and hear Fremont’s plan before he takes violent action.

“You could destroy the government’s power over women,” Fremont smiles mischievously.

Andrew stops in shock facing Fremont, “Come again?”

“Honestly, how did you become a senator?”  Fremont shakes his head.

“I have an intelligent wife to fill in the blanks for me,” Andrew states mournfully, worrying if she is alive and safe, or being tortured in a lab states away.

Fremont just nods and continues, “If you are the face of the war, if the government believes that you are on their side, then you can lead them away from the real path, away from the real haven of the women.”

“And how would I know if I am leading them away?” Andrew asks.

Fremont smiles, “Women are smart and strong.  They know the chances of getting caught, and when they are interrogated, they know when to give the false bust close to the truth information, so the government never finds their trail.”

Andrew shakes his head, “Cressida told me the truth when I interrogated her.”

“She told you a partial truth.  They did go through the sewers and onto a logging road, but they didn’t go north towards Canada.”  Fremont sits back down feeling that this conversation is going to be longer than he thought.

Andrew drops his head in thought and suddenly snaps it up to look at he’s only trusted friend, “That’s why Mercy blew up the labs.  So that no one would know which direction to find Luke and Christian.  The only reason she would have done that was to protect them.  And the only reason she would need to protect them is because they are safe.  My children are safe.”

teaser not yet edited
ⓒ Copyright 2013 AshleyNicole Books

original image link

Welcome New Fans

Well so far my dream to be an author has been quite a journey.  While I have been busy with life in general and working on the Women’s Island project, my fan base has been increasing.  I have all of you to thank for your continued support through the project and spreading the word about my pages.  So thank you all so much!  Today I have over 1,800 followers across WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter.  That’s almost 2k fans!  Thank you for those who have stuck around and thank you to the new fans for following me.  I can’t wait to hear what you think about Women’s Island once it comes out ❤

With all the new recent fans, I’ve decided to create this blog post to introduce myself and maybe reintroduce my stories and website to the fans who’ve already been following.

First things first…

artistic-persuasion-april-showers.jpg

My website has a new look 😉  I know, I change the colors and banner a lot but I like to keep it up to date with the theme of the holiday, season, etc…  Hope you like it.

Next, I’ll share with you a little bit about myself.

AshleyNicole Books

My name is AshleyNicole Shelton.  I am a full-time mother and a part-time writer.  So far I have three free companion stories available for download.  This year you can expect to see Women’s Island, a dystopian society novel about love, family, survival, and equality, in both eBook and paperback editions.  On the side I enjoy reading, drawing, and photography.  Places I am in my element for writing are: coffee shops (even though I don’t like to drink coffee), forests, mountains, and beaches.  My favorite colors are purple & green and my favorite foods are salad & chocolate.

Ready to Start Browsing?

You may have noticed that my blog title isn’t AshleyNicole Books.  The name of my blog is actually The Artistic Persuasion while my website is AshleyNicole Books.  Click here to find out about my blog name!

Want to know about my published stories and my publishing plans for the future?  Then check out my Novels page.  And don’t forget to check out my book pages Women’s Island, The Gifted Series, and Deathly Vortex.

Are you interested in being a writer?  Check out my Novel Insanity Challenge for motivation you might find helpful or inspiring.

Looking for other authors to read and support?  I have a page titled Authors of Note that lists some of the authors who have made an impact on my journey in the writing world and also have great publications of their own.  I will be adding more to this page soon so be sure to come back again for more authors.

follows

Follow me on Twitter!   |   Like my Facebook Page

Commission my Cover Artist   |   Ask my Editor for a quote

Thank You!

Thank you everyone for stopping by, your support, and interest in my stories.  It really means a lot to me that you all encourage my writing.  Have a great evening/morning/afternoon!

Women’s Island Movie Deal

Releasing a Secret

Okay… I’ve been keeping this a secret long enough and now that fan base has exceeded my expectations I’d like to announce it officially. A screenwriter ran across my Women’s Island project and loved the story idea so much he asked to have a meeting with me, my agent, and some producers. I was so surprised, especially since the book hasn’t even been released yet but I decided it was worth going to the meeting. It was an amazing experience and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

I GOT MY FIRST MOVIE DEAL

I never dreamed my writing would actually become a movie. If any of my books did, I thought it would be one of my series, but I’m glad Women’s Island will have the chance to make such an impact. Most of the casting has already been completed and the script is going through edits as we speak. The movie will come to theaters Fall 2015! I’m so excited!
Thank you all for your support. I hope you will love the movie as long as the book. I better get to bed. I have a production meeting in the morning.
women's island movie poster

APRIL FOOLS!

It would be awesome if my novel Women’s Island gets a movie deal but I don’t see that happening in the foreseeable future.

***Disclaimer – I do not own the images used to make this movie poster and the actors did not consent to play a part in the movie. It was simply for April Fools Day purposes.***

 

Seriousness

Women’s Island is getting closer to being publication ready.  In the meantime I recently got in the Cavern Dweller bookmarks and can now take orders from those of you who would like to buy t-shirts and/or autographed bookmark sets.  For more information on buying Women’s Island products, send me a message by clicking the “Contact” tab from the menu at the top.

imPRESSive Update

This idea of imPRESSive came from a similar documentary appearing on YouTube called Becoming YouTube, which talked about YouTubers and the different elements of YouTube. So, I thought that I would start a documentary blogumentary about WordPress, and the different elements it involves and provides.  You’ll find me quoted once in each episode so be sure to check it out 🙂

Webisode One – Blog Names and URLs
So basically, blog names and URL’s are usually quicker to make and helpful in the long term if they have a personal connection. For example, mine derives from the fact that I love psychology and thought – provoking things, and some can come from some small things in people’s lives. But with people using pseudonyms rather than their actual names, but why is this the case?
“Just like book titles, a blog name needs to catch the readers attention, intrigue them, make them come visit your page. And a URL needs to be easy to remember and spell so access to the site isn’t difficult.”-AshleyNicole Books

Webisode Two – The Blogger Persona
What should the perfect blogger blog about?
“I personally enjoy blog posts about book reviews, giveaways, fiction stories, and survivor stories but I think everyone is different. But you can count on one thing for sure. As long as you are writing about what you love, there will be someone who loves to read it.”-AshleyNicole Books

Webisode Three – Stats and Attracting Views
Do you consider yourself “stat-obsessed”?
“I look at my stats every now and then out of curiosity, wondering where in the world my page has been viewed but other than that, no.”-AshleyNicole Books

Webisode Four – Blog Conferences – Where Are They?
Have you ever heard of WordCamp conference by WordPress?
“Nope, but I’ll look it up later now that you brought it up.”-AshleyNicole Books

Webisode Five – Akismet and Spammers
Why are spammers common on WordPress, and why do you rarely see them on Blogger and other famous blogging sites?
“Honestly, I don’t think they are more common. I’ve tried several different blog site and WordPress is by far my favorite. My twitter on the other hand, that gets a lot of spam!”-AshleyNicole Books

Webisode Six – Freshly Pressed
Have you ever been Freshly Pressed and would it make you feel more pressure to reach your readers expectations?
“No I haven’t but if I ever am, I would probably take more time editing my posts than I do now.”-AshleyNicole Books

 

Have a great April everyone!